New Dogeared Reading Challenge

This reading challenge is about appreciating the old, worn-out and beat-up books we come across. They\’re out there, and perhaps they\’re feeling neglected- hoping they don\’t get shuffled long enough to end up in the recycling (or worse, trash). So let\’s give them some love! For the Dogeared Challenge, you have to read dog-eared, torn, stained, winkled, falling-apart or otherwise in-bad-condition books.

These can be manhandled books, from public libraries, used bookstores, etc that have passed through many readers\’ hands already.

They can be old copies, books which have been in print for a long, long time yet still hold together (I\’m thinking anything printed earlier than 1920).

They can be well-loved books that you\’ve read so many times since childhood the pages are barely intact (I\’ve known a few to be held together with rubber bands to keep the pages from getting lost).

They can be abused books, ones that get their pages bent, edges scuffed, laid down on their faces, coffee spilled on them, etc.


 – You must read 10 (or more) books that fit the criteria. The older, more neglected, worn-out they are, the better! 
 – Can be crossed over with any other reading challenge.
 – Make a list to start with, or find the books as you go.
 – The genre or subject is entirely up to you.
 – Re-reads are fine, as long as it\’s been several years since the last time.
 – Books must already be in poor condition. Please don\’t beat up a book while you read it, just to count it for this challenge. Treat your worn-out books gently, and hopefully they can be read again and again. 
 – If you want to, post about the worn books you read on your blog and share photos of the actual copy you have in hand. If you don\’t have a blog, you can share about your experience in comments on the posts I will be making for this challenge throughout the year (watch my sidebar).
 – Challenge starts now, ends on December 15, 2010
 – To join, sign up with the Mr. Linky below, or leave a comment on this post. Link directly to the post on your blog where you announce how you will take part in the challenge.

Optional: To add to the fun, you can evaluate the wear and tear each book you read is suffering from, and there will be a little contest to accumulate \”damage points\” for your books. (Winner will be required to share photos showing the condition of the books they read). You can count one point for each of the following conditions your poor book has:

– dogears, folds, creased or crumpled pages
– spine/binding badly damaged, loose or cracked
– water damage, wavy pages and/or wrinkles
– covers very fanned, curled, or separating from book
– stains, soil, yellowed pages and/or lots of foxing
– writing, underlining or highlighting  (in body of text)
– heavy scuff marks, dents and/or bumped corners
– bad odor (enough that it makes you uncomfortable)
– pages torn, chewed on or missing (body text, not endpapers)
– mold or other organic substance (yeah, yucky I know)

Thus, one book can have a maximum of 10 damage points.

So here\’s how to participate:

Worn and Weary: Commit to read 10 or more obviously worn books. The more worn-out, the better!

Tattered and Torn: Read 10 or more very worn books, and count up damage points accordingly. Over 50 points will get you entered into the drawing for a prize.

The Most Battered Book: A separate contest will run for the one most beat-up book read this year. If you find and read a book in really awful condition, share a photo of your copy! Email your photos and a brief description to jeanenevarez (at) gmail (dot) com. I\’ll published the photos here on the blog as they come in, and at the end of the year we\’ll vote for which book has the wost condition.

Note: if you don\’t want to sign up for the Dogeared Reading Challenge, but just happen to come across and read a really tattered book during the year, you\’re still welcome to enter the Most Battered Book contest. Simply email me your photo and description.


Completely Dogeared Everyone who completes the reading challenge will be entered into a drawing for this prize: Your pick of any 2 books off my \”swap shelf\” or 2 Book Mooch points, plus a collection of 10 bookmarks I\’ve found in used books (most featuring bookshops).

Utterly Decrepit Everyone who completes the challenge and tallies more than 50 damage points for the condition of their books, will be entered into a drawing for this prize: 10 mylar sleeves to protect your dust jackets, a manual on book care/repair, and a custommade jacket by me to cover one of your own \”naked\” hardbound books.

Most Battered Book Winner chosen by popular vote, from submitted photos of beat-up books read during the challenge: $20 gift card at Powell\’s Books.

Last of all, pick a button and have fun! (Buttons were created from photos I took of a very dog-eared and folded book my neighbor is reading. The second one shows just how much the cover is curled!)


32 Responses

  1. Count me in – this sounds like fun 🙂 About 50% of my books come from the library, so I don't think I'll have a hard time finding worn books!

  2. I will post a formal sign up later but I'm definitely in. I LOVE old books. I was first introduced to Anne of Green Gables when I found a paperback copy that had been run over by a car! I still have that copy.

  3. Pussreboots: Run over by a car! Poor, suffering book. Amazing that you still have it- you ought to read that one. I want to see a picture.

  4. LOVE this idea! This is way too fun for me to resist even though I promised no more challenges. I will have to go through my shelves and see what I have that is truly miserable-looking, and then I'll do a formal sign-up post.

  5. Hmmmm….I'll have to see if I have that many dog eared books at home. I don't think I do. My C.S. Lewises are all falling apart, but I just re-read those. I'll take a look and get back to you.

  6. Black Sheep- You could always borrow a few to make up the total.And yes, I have actually twice had to toss a book in the trash. One had pages stuck together with old gum- I couldn't see how to separate them without having big tears and missing text. The other was a children's book with the last 10 pages missing. It got replaced.

  7. Great challenge for your blog! I'm not sure I'll sign up for the challenge, but I do have a candidate for the most battered book! I'll try to take a photo soon.

  8. Farmelanebooks- Sounds good! We'll see if it can compete with Pussreboots' run-over book. Do remember you still have to read it through before you can enter, though!

  9. Girlsgood- any book older than what you usually read would work for this. Or any book that has seen a lot of wear. For me, books older than 1920 feel old, but for another reader it would be different.

  10. I'm joining in!! I saw your post – somehow I missed the initial post about this challenge… I have to go see what I have, but I think i might have some that qualify. I like this challenge, we get to show some love to our beat-up books! I'll do a post about it tomorrow. This is a fun challenge – loving those well-worn books one more time.

  11. I love this idea, especially since I just finished reading a very battered book.Question: what is foxing?

  12. Fredegonde, thanks for joining in! Foxing is the brown spotting you sometimes see on the outside edge of the pages. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  13. I've decided to join too. There's a free outdoor bookshelf at my local library here on Kauai. I always stop there on the way to the beach to see what's been left. There are a lot of well worn books I have given a home to.Aloha from Rob

  14. I love to join:)However, I don't like the feeling of handling old books.. I buy hand-me-down books and certainly I love books of all ages and state.. But what I do is trying to restore them at least to a state that they can at least feel that they are books again.. Anyway count me in!

  15. I dont' have a blog so here goes1. White, E. B. Charlotte's 1952 2. White, E. B. Stuart Little 131 1945 3. Keene, Carolyn The Secret int he Old Clcok #1 19304. Keene, Carolyn The Hidden Stiarcase #2 19305. Burgess Thornton W Old Mother West Wind 1910. Keene, Carolyn The Secret at Shadow Ranch, #5193 6. Keene, Carolyn The Bungelow Mystery #3 19307. Keene, Carolyn The Mystery at Liclac Inn # 4 19308. Keene, Carolyn The clue in the Diary 1932 $79. Keene, Carolyn The Secret of Red Gate Farm, #6 1931 9. Keene, Carolyn Nancy's Mysterious Letter #8 193210. Keene, Carolyn The Sign of the Twisted Candles #9 193311. Keene, Carolyn The Password to Larkespur Lane # 10 1933 Keene, Carolyn The Clue of the Broken Locket, #11 1934 12. Keene, Carolyn The Clue in the Hollow Oak #12 193513. Burgess, Thornton W.The Adventures of Bob Coon 191814. Keene, Carolyn The Mystery of the Ivory Charm #13 193615. Keene, Carolyn The Whispering Statue #14 193716. Keene, Carolyn The Haunted Bridge # 15 193817. Keene, Carolyn The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk,#17 194018. Keene, Carolyn The Clue of the Tapping Heels, #16 1939 19. Keene, Carolyn The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion, #18 1941 20. Keene, Carolyn The Clue in the Jewel Box,#20 1943

  16. That's a great list of books you've read, Girlsgood! You even outdid me! So far you're the first to complete the challenge; I'll announce the winner of the drawing first week of Jan…

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All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it


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